I normally don’t write about me here, but more on thyroid advocacy issues. But this time…it’s going to be ME, because YOU need to be aware of what happened to me…because it can happen to you.
I appear to have adrenal fatigue.
Now understand this: I didn’t have it when I got on Armour over 4 years ago. I raised my Armour without a hitch, except for low Ferritin twice that I had to correct. And for approx. 3 1/2 years, I’ve been optimal with Armour with a perfect mid-afternoon temp of 98.6
So why adrenal fatigue now?? It helps to explain it this way: Two years ago, in Dec. of 2004, I entered serious peri-menopause. My progesterone fell rock bottom while I still had a youthfully high estrogen. And I’ve had to deal with the misery of severe estrogen dominance for two years. I’ve used compounded progesterone cream for those two years, but it was often never enough to stop the symptoms of estrogen dominance.
Also, Dr. Lam states the following and it explains me to a T: In early stages of adrenal fatigue, cortisol output is high as the body attempts to neutralize the stress by producing more of it. However, when too much cortisol is produced, it will have multiple undesirable effects. For example, cortisol blocks progesterone receptors, making them less responsive to progesterone. Progesterone normally produced by the adrenals comes to a halt in favor of cortisol. Insufficient progesterone production leads to an imbalance of estrogen to progesterone…(aka estrogen dominance). And voila–I did have high cortisol in the morning and noon. I had done the saliva adrenal test just a month after my progesterone had dropped.
Finally, this past October, I noticed the estrogen dominance FINALLY stopped, as did my periods. A huge victory. 🙂 But in early December, after a particularly busy day on a Saturday, I majorly crashed………and haven’t recovered since.
And ALL my symptoms point to adrenal fatigue. First, my temps fell. And they were all over the place. My highest would only be 98.3, and one night, I was 97.1. That was VERY wrong for me.
Next, I started waking up EVERY night between 3-5 am. A typical adrenal symptom. Also, if I felt emotional about something, my body would get VERY hot. At first I thought it was a hot flash…but it was different.
And I was achy for 1 1/2 weeks. That stopped when I raised my Armour and got my temps back up. But even without the achiness, I have felt fatigued all over, and just bad.
Also, I fail the blood pressure test in the mornings. The other day, my supine blood pressure was 135/84. Standing, it was 115/84. A good sign of adrenal fatigue. I also have a faster and a pounding heartrate.
I have sent off my saliva samples…but have no doubt what the results are going to be. So….I am going to start the very adrenal support that I have written about in so much detail here on STTM. Because there is simply too much stress in my life to think that practicing all the other adrenal support methods are going to help my adrenals recover, or even help me feel better.
And by the way, for the past year and more, I have always given myself 5000 mgs of Vit. C and high dose B-vitamins, plus E. I have exercised regularly by walking. But it wasn’t enough to stop what a huge female hormonal change has done to me. I now am using Licorice Root daily (which stops some of the breakdown of cortisol in your liver) and 1/2 tsp sea salt, stirred in orange juice and my morning yogurt. And I’ll have to start on cortisol.
What can you do to not find yourself in my shoes? For one, if you enter peri-meno, even without the presence of adrenal fatigue, I would start on some mild OTC adrenal support now, which I was never on. Also, do whatever you can to counter excessive emotional stress in your life during this time by finding times to laugh and doing what you enjoy. I have been stuck with a job that wore me down, and family issues that stressed me terribly, and I’m sure that played a part.
COMMENTS TO THIS POST ARE WELCOME 🙂 (I could use pats on the back because this makes me SICK), but if you have questions, this is not the place for them. Go to our forums here: www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/community And by the way, I will update this particular blog post when I get my adrenal saliva test results back…and as I progress in my treatment. My fingers are crossed.
Click here to see the continuation of my comments on my own Adrenal Fatigue.
UPDATE as of Feb. 2009: for those still reading all the way down here, I became fully meno by 2008 and remarkably, require no progesterone or estrogen to feel good. I did start having constant nighttime waking up and probably could use a little progesterone at bedtime. I do use testosterone gel to keep my muscles healthy and stronger. And my adrenals are still fine. I’m on 4 grains Armour plus a slew of good supplements.